The Shulman Center 1


    Greetings from The Shulman Center!

Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding Newsletter September 2012 

       Happy Labor Day and Jewish New Year!


Celebrating 20 years  

 of Serving People! 

       1992 - 2012


  CASA 20th Anniversary

September 12, 2012



Quotes of the Month


"Work isn't to make money; you work to justify life." --Marc Chagall


"Without labor, nothing prospers."  --Sophocles


"A mind always employed is always happy.  This is the true secret, the grand recipe, for felicity."--Thomas Jefferson. 


"The end of labor is to gain leisure." -- Aristotle


"Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school. It would've been 'Independence Day,' but that name was already taken." --Bill Dodds



Stats of the Month 


-More than 1 out of 5 Americans now take at least 1 medication for a psychological disorder--up 22% from 10 years ago.-- Medco Health Solutions


-12% of all websites contain pornographic material or images and 25% of all search engine requests are related to pornography.

--Various sources.


-$234,900: average amount for middle-icome American family for raising a child to age 17. --U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.


-1 out of 10 Wall Street employees is a clinical psychopath compared to 1 out of 100 in the general population--a 10-fold increase.--CFA Magazine, 2011.



Persons of the Month 


Steven Gamburd and Richard Shulman--two of my Detroit-area first cousins (Steve on my Mom's side; Rick on my Dad's). 


Steve, in his late 30's, has blazed his own trails as a drummer in various local rock bands as well as through his unique forms of drawing and painting. His most recent local exhibit highlights drawings and paintings of deceased musicians which he created with a female artist who recently died of lupus. See link to Steve's website at: 

Steven Gamburd


Rick, in his early 40's, has been an attorney for many years, was a drummer and is an artist, too! A few years ago he got an I-Pad and began creating portraits of people's faces on it, developing his own unique style. He has traveled around the U.S. and the globe to teach and connect with fellow tech-artistes! See link to Rick's website at:

I-Pad Junkie 



Book of the Month:


What Would You Take WIth You if Your House Were Burning? by Foster Huntington, 2012


This 250-page book has a short introduction followed by nearly 250 individual lists and photos from a diverse cross-section of people from around the globe answering the book title's question.


It gets you thinking not only about the cultural differences among the submissions but about what you'd put on your own list. The list of items varies widely and includes predictable and quite unusual objects. 


See affiliated site:



Film of the Month:


"The Queen of Versailles" (2012). Directed by Lauren Greenfield


I just saw this newly released documentary which began filming before the financial collapse of 2008. Its focus was to profile David and Jaclyn Siegel of Orlando, who were building the nation's largest house:

90,000 square feet! David is 30 years older than Jaclyn and they have 7 kids together. He was the "Time Share King," a multi-millionaire, on top of the world! We watch shopping spree after shopping spree.


Then, when the financial collapse hits and we witness the fallout even for this super-rich family. The film is a cautionary tale about living beyond our means on easy credit. 


The good thing about this film is that there no commentary about the characters: we are left to see them in all their glory and rawness and draw our own conclusions. If anything, I was intrigued by how human each family member comes off: David and Jaclyn are super-sized versions of the average Joe and Jane who bit off more than they could chew and bought into the fantasy that money, things and looks are the secrets to happiness. 


What's sad, in my opinion, is that things really don't seem like they've changed much


See our updated websites at:


Mr. Shulman's books now in e-books through


Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery


Biting The Hand That Feeds: The Employee Theft Epidemic


Bought Out and $pent! Recovery from Compulsive $hopping


Cluttered Lives, Empty Souls: Stealing, Spending & Hoarding 




If you're a therapist and wish to be trained & certified in the assessment/treatment of compulsive theft, spending and/or hoarding, PLEASE CONTACT THE SHULMAN CENTER NOW! See  our website: Therapist Training



See: Psychology Today


Opportunity to assist with article about flash sale sites like Gilt, My Habit, Rue La La, Haute Look, and how people can get addicted to them. Can you or someone you know speak about your shopping habits at these sites and what your attraction is or was to them. Although I would prefer to use interview sources' full names for this story, if necessary I have the flexibility to maintain anonymity given the sensitive nature of the subject being discussed. So only a first name or a pen name can be used for that sake. No photos will be necessary. Please contact me immediately via e-mail at or at 412-766-1825.


The Shulman Center on the Move and in the News...


August--Mr. Shulman's article on compulsive theft, spending & hoarding ran in Sante Center Newsletter. See


August 24--Mr. Shulman presented a 2-hour seminar on compulsive theft, spending and hoarding at the Addiction Studies Institute in Columbus, Ohio.  See  


September 5--10am Mr. Shulman will be interviewed on compulsive theft, spending and hoarding and men's issues in therapy on metro-Detroit radio by Body, Mind, Spirit Guide Magazine. See: BodyMindSpirit


September 12--C.A.S.A. (Cleptomaniacs And Shoplifters Anonymous) metro-Detroit celebrates 20-year anniversary.


September 15--8pm Mr. Shulman will be interviewed on compulsive theft, spending & hoarding on Blog Talk Radio.


September 28--October 2--Mr. Shulman will be attending and presenting on compulsive theft, spending & hoarding at the National Conference on Addictive Disorders in Orlando, Florida.


C.A.S.A.'s 20-year Anniversary!

September 12, 2012 will mark a special date in my life personally and, perhaps, a special date for others as well. It was 20 years ago (in 1992) that I founded the first C.A.S.A. (Cleptomaniacs And Shoplifters Anonymous) support group in Southfield, Michigan--just outside Detroit. I had no idea if the group would get off the ground--I showed up 14 consecutive Wednesday nights before our first member showed up just before Christmas! 


20 years later, we're still meeting in our original space at a Unitarian Church and have five weekly chapters in metro-Detroit, not counting three other chapters that folded. By my estimate, we've had about 2,000 people come through our doors--most of them court-ordered. I can't begin to describe the incredible stories I've heard from people who felt so scared and ashamed when they attended their first meeting that they almost didn't come through our doors. Most found a home (or "casa") in our meeting rooms where they could share and listen, learn and grow, and begin to understand their actions and make the changes necessary to heal their toxic shame and live "more happy, healthy, and productive lives" as noted in our charter statement which we read at the start of our meetings. 


In addition to our local groups, C.A.S.A. has slowly but steadily expanded across the U.S. There are now chapters in about ten other states. I also founded an online support group 12 years ago in 2000 which currently has 250 members from across the globe! Others launched three weekly phone conference groups over the last several years. It is my vision that every state has at least one C.A.S.A. group...then every major city. These groups really make a difference not only to the individuals who attend them but to the countless lives that are improved when a person begins to heal. 


I've made several great friends through C.A.S.A. and I'd like to acknowledge two of them who have passed away: Fran, David and Sandra started coming to C.A.S.A. about a year after I started the group. They took turns leading the group in its early years. Fran's recovery was remarkable. At age 60, after nearly 40 years of shoplifting, she turned her life completely around. For David, his recovery was less even, resulted in many relapses, loss of his law license, marital separation, and increased psychiatric issues. Sandra started a chapter of C.A.S.A. near her home about five years ago and has made great progress despite experiencing various losses and health issues. We still keep in touch.


All in all, It's been a great 20 years. I don't know what the future holds but I hope the next 20 years will see C.A.S.A. grow! Please feel free to contact me if you have any interest in starting a C.A.S.A. group in your area. In the meantime, here is a list of our North American groups: CASA Groups



A Report from The Addiction Studies Institute


I recently attended and presented on compulsive theft, spending and hoarding at the Addiction Studies Institute in Columbus, Ohio. I first attended this conference last year (about a 4 hour drive from where I live in metro-Detroit). This year there were over 800 attendees from across the U.S. (mostly from Ohio and the Mid-west. While the conference is geared toward alcohol and drug addictions, I was honored to share about addictive-compulsive shoplifting, employee theft, shopping, and hoarding disorder with over 100 therapists who attended my session. 


I took a straw poll at the start of my 2-hour presentation and found that the great majority were most interested in learning about hoarding disorder. To my surprise and delight, however, many began asking questions and making comments during the first hour of my presentation on shoplifting and employee theft.  I, unfortunately, had much less time to cover hoarding disorder and have spoken with the conference organizers about returning next year to present an entire 2-hour session on that topic.


Fareed Zakari's Plagiarism Problem 


I've been a fan of Fareed Zakaria's writings in Time magazine and of his interviews on CNN. I was, thus, saddened to hear about his alleged plagiarism in an article and book of his where he had lifted several short passages, word-for-word, from another journalist's writings. Mr. Zakaria owned up to this quickly, though his explanation raised some eyebrows. He says it was accidental--that he'd had the passages in his notes and mistook them for his own. Who knows the full truth? 


One might ask: why would a brilliant thinker and writer risk so much for so little, especially when most plagiarism these days can be easily discovered? But we humans are not always rational. Perhaps he took a short cut and got caught. Either way, he was suspended from his magazine column and from his CNN show for a short time. This shouldn't ruin his career but it is a black mark.


Interestingly, those who lashed out most fiercely against Mr. Zakaria likely were those who were no fans to begin with of his politics or him personally. Gotcha! Of course, Mr. Zakaria's "mistake" is not uncommon; Joe Biden and countless others have made similar faux pas. Mr. Zakaria's infraction was certainly far less onerous than that of journalists Jayson Blair or Stephen Glass. Even Mitch Albom was caught filing a sports article on a basketball game he never attended but stated he had--and even included details of what and whom he'd seen in the stands!


The more pressing question is whether plagiarism and short cuts are just getting more tempting because of time pressures and increased competition. Plagiarism, resume embellishment, exam cheating, doping in sports, cooking the financial books, political corruption/cover-ups. What's the world coming to?


A Tale of Two Armstrongs


In the last week there were two Armstrongs in the news: Neil and Lance. 


Neil, the astronaut, the man on the moon, he who uttered the famous words "one small step for man, one giant step for mankind" died at age 82. Apparently, he was a humble man with a sense of humor. He lived as a hero and died as a hero, apparently with no blemishes on his career or life. Yet, I doubt he was a perfect man and I doubt he'd have said he was. Perhaps he was one of those men we sometimes say, just came from another era.


Lance, the pro cyclist, winner of 7 Tour de France races, a testicular cancer survivor and founder of the LiveStrong Foundation for Cancer research and treatment, finally appeared to lose his fight against incessant allegations that he had doped during his reign over a decade ago. Despite negative tests and continued denials of guilt, all of his former teammates (and others) have stated Armstrong broke the rules just like nearly everyone else did. Lance finally threw in the towel, refusing to defend himself or fight back anymore. His titles may be stripped, his reputation tarnished, but life goes on. 


Who knows what the truth is. Whether Lance doped or not, it would be hard to argue that Lance Armstrong was not an incredible athlete who bravely fought his own cancer and inspired many. It is understandable that we want our heroes to be pure but we need to beware of putting others on a pedestal for they tend to be prone to tipping over.  



The High Costs of Hoarding 


I will be presenting a 1-hour session on hoarding disorder and its financial consequences at The AFCPE (Association for Financial Counseling, Planning and Education) Annual Conference November 14-16, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. See AFCPE Conference


The following excerpts are from: HIgh Cost of Hoarding


"There could be countless people involved when it comes to a single hoarder and as it was explained it was broken down as to who is all involved and this is what a single city's involvement with a hoarder consists of:


Mayors and public officials

Adult Protective Services and Social Service Agencies

Mental Health Counselors(psychologists and psychiatrists)

Police and Law Enforcement agencies

Judges and Attorneys

Foster Care systems

Hospitals and Health Care Facilities

Court-appointed guardians and advocates

Animal Welfare agencies and organizations


This cost could run upwards of $500,000 to well over a million dollars that comes out of the pockets of tax payers just to deal with one hoarder. That's not something anyone wants to hear about where their tax dollars are going to and knowing that many cities are having to foot this bill at the expense of tax payers is crazy. Hoarders have no idea as to the cost that a single city has to foot to do everything from removing a person to legal prosecution when a citation is issued. The fact that this woman has no regards for her family or anyone around her and as her daughter stated she's choosing to live like this and going to jail isn't having much effect on her."

  • 54% of hoarders admit to having trouble paying their bills. This is due in part because a majority of their funds are spent on shopping and expanding the hoard. The hoard itself also prevents them from staying organized enough to pay the bills. Bills, checkbooks and financial records are often lost in the hoard.
  • 22% of hoarders avoided paying taxes for one of the last five years. Again, this is likely due to missing paperwork.
  • It is not unusual for hoarders to have their power and gas shut off. It may start with an unpaid bill, but escalates because a repairman can't get into the home to make the necessary repairs.
  • 75% of hoarders excessively buy unneeded items. Hoarders tend to have high credit card debt. Shopping is a major problem for people with this condition. They continue to spend money they don't have to expand their collection or hoard items them deem valuable.

What Would You Take from Your Burning House? 


After perusing this month's "Book of the Month" and its affiliated site I got to thinking: what would I take? What's really important to me? Here's my list, what's yours? See if you can stick to 10 things!


1.  My laptop computer

2.  My wedding albums and DVDs

3.  My wallet, passport and checkbook

4.  My important papers (mortgage, taxes, wills)

5.  My car keys

6.  A few pieces of original art

7.  My business/media scrapbook

8.  A few pieces of original art by others

9. My portfolio of artwork I've done

10. More photos



Walk in peace.



The Shulman Center 2012 Events Calendar 


August 22-24--Mr. Shulman attended and presented on compulsive theft, spending & hoarding at the Annual Addictions Studies Institute in Columbus, OH.


August--Mr. Shulman had an article on compulsive theft, spending & hoarding in Sante Center's magazine on on their website. See


September 5--Mr. Shulman will be interviewed on compulsive theft, spending and hoarding on metro-Detroit radio by Body, Mind, Spirit Guide Magazine.


September 12--C.A.S.A. (Cleptomaniacs And Shoplifters Anonymous) metro-Detroit celebrates 20-year anniversary.


September 15--8pm Mr. Shulman will be interviewed on compulsive theft, spending & hoarding on Blog Talk Radio. 


September 28--October 2--Mr. Shulman will be attending and presenting on compulsive theft, spending & hoarding at the National Conference on Addictive Disorders in Orlando, Florida.


October 25--Mr. Shulman will be presenting a 2-hour seminar on hoarding disorder in Royal Oak, Michigan.


November 1--Mr. Shulman will be presenting a 2-hour seminar on hoarding disorder in Farmington Hills, Michigan. 


November 14-16 (prospective) Mr. Shulman to present on compulsive theft, spending and hoarding at the Association for Financial Planning, Counseling and Education's Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO.


December--Mr. Shulman will have an article on compulsive theft, spending & hoarding in Counselor Magazine.


Late 2012--Mr. Shulman has penned the "Foreword" for upcoming book Shoplifters: Are They Out of Control? by California forensic psychologist John C. Brady.


Ongoing ...


The Baton Rouge, Louisiana court system has a court-ordered, facilitated educational program for retail fraud offenders. The program is based on material from Mr. Shulman's book Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery.


Mr. Shulman created a 1-hour employee theft online course with 360 Training. Learn why people steal from their jobs, how to deter it, prevent it, and what to do when confronted with it. Enroll at:  


Mr. Shulman created an online continuing education course on compulsive shopping and spending called Bought Out and $pent! based on his book and Power Point presentation. The course, CEs offered, through The American Psychotherapy Association. at:




Tom Lietaert of Sacred Odyssey and the Intimacy with Money programs offers individual money coaching as well as various group workshops on money. Check out Tom's two websites at: /




Gary Zeune of Columbus, Ohio has been a friend and colleague of mine for nearly two years. He has been a consultant and teacher on fraud discovery and prevention for nearly 30 years. He is interviewed in my book Cluttered Lives, Empty Souls: Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding. I recently saw Gary in action recently when he presented an all-day on fraud to metro-Detroit accountants. 



Eve Cantor, a 30-something professional organizer in the New York City area offers in-person and Skype coaching for women in need of assistance with their wardrobe and clutter. See Eve's wonderful website and video at




Kevin Colburn, of Vancouver, British Columbia has been in the loss prevention field for many years and recently was trained in Israel to work with layered voice analysis technology. LVA allows interviewers (and interrogators) to accurately determine a subject's truthfulness or evasiveness. See: 


THE MONEY SHIFT (Book, Board Game and Seminars)


Tom Palka, CFP, a metro-Detroit area financial planner, and I recently met. He's worked in finances for over 25 years and has written a book, developed a board game, and offers seminars on transforming our thinking about money and wealth. See his website at


POSITIVE RETURNS Court-orderd Programs for Shoplifting


Terry Richardson, LMSW, of Joplin, Missouri recently contacted me and we had a long-talk by telephone. Terry worked in the correctional system before returning to school to obtain his MSW. In 2003 he was approached and soon founded the first court-ordered program for theft offenders in Joplin, MO. It seems this small town was experiencing a steady rise in shoplifting and Terry developed a program that has made a real dent in shoplifting and has helped countless shoplifters of all backgrounds. His program is for sale. See:




Mr. Shulman's books

available for purchase now!




Something for Nothing: 

Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery (2003) 

See also:






Biting The Hand That Feeds 

Biting The Hand That Feeds:

The Employee Theft Epidemic... New Perspectives, New Solutions (2005) 

See also:





Bought Out and Spent 

Bought Out and $pent! 

Recovery from Compulsive $hopping/$pending (2008) 

See also:




  Bought Out and Spent


Cluttered Lives, Empty Souls: 

Compulsive Stealing, Spending and Hoarding (2011) 

See also:




Contact The Shulman Center:


Terrence Daryl Shulman, JD, LMSW, ACSW, CAADC, CPC  


The Shulman Center for Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding


P.O. Box 250008 

Franklin, Michigan 48025




Call (248) 358-8508 for free consultation!



Our Web Sites:

The Shulman Center

Shoplifting Addictions

Kleptomaniacs Anonymous

Something For Nothing

Shopping Addictions 

Shopaholics Anonymous

Bought Out and Spent 

Employee Theft Solutions

Biting the Hand that Feeds

Hoarding Therapy

Hoarders Anonymous


Books by
Terrence Shulman: 


Something for Nothing:Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery

Biting The Hand That Feeds:The Employee Theft Epidemic

Bought Out and $pent! Recovery from Compulsive $hopping and $pending

Cluttered Lives Empty Souls: Compulsive StealingSpending and Hoarding


All book are available for $25.00 each (includes shipping and handling).